Our work in education
Equality & opportunity
Our work helps to draw children into the orbit of world-class music with equality of opportunity.
At Suffolk Philharmonic this is at the heart of our ethos. The Government's 2012 review entitled 'The Importance of Music' said: “It is important that music education of high quality is available to as many as possible: it must not become the preserve of those children whose families can afford to pay for music tuition. While music touches the lives of all young people, the disadvantaged can benefit most.”
Yet many children and young people never have the chance to attend a live music event and even fewer experience live classical music.
SPO players go into schools - small village primaries as well as large senior schools and colleges - to enrich children's experience by opening windows on the world of music and by encouraging music skills. The visits offer a plethora of opportunities: sometimes children play their own instruments alongside professionals or in small group workshops; sometimes the whole school has a mini concert. Older children have the opportunity to consult musicians about GCSE music and how best to develop as young players. Our musicians also work with talented young people to rehearse and even perform in a shared concert. An open, flexible approach in planning with head teachers means that the activities are closely tailored to the needs of those particular children.
The most advanced young players are given the unique opportunity to play ‘side by side’ with SPO's professional musicians during our 'real-life' orchestral rehearsal on the day of a full-scale SPO performance in a major venue - and then they can watch that evening concert free. Sometimes the playing of a piece by a young composer features in one of our major concerts. These are unforgettable experiences for the young people concerned.
We are keen to develop engagement with schools and colleges throughout Suffolk. We do not make a charge for these services. If you are a head or teacher who would like to find out more, please get in touch by emailing our conductor and artistic director, Leslie Olive.
Making music exciting
"My pupils enthused for WEEKS afterwards!"
"They need role models to aspire to and learn from. This workshop was most successful in meeting those needs."
John Rednall, Britannia Primary School, Ipswich